Museum in a Box

Museum in a Box brings the museum to you! It’s a wonderful way to connect with history through exploring these objects, sharing memories and thoughts, asking questions and developing a curiosity for heritage. It’s fun and engaging for all ages and abilities.

Each box includes themed collections of museum objects that participants can handle and use. A Te Manawa Museum facilitator will bring the box to your school or organisation and spend a fascinating hour or so exploring the past with you.

A drawing of an art deco building next to a red brick church
Te Marae o Hine/The Square

Unique to Palmerston North, Te Marae o Hine is a special space in the city. Through imagery and stories this box explores the changes to this place over time, and lets participants connect to a central part of the city and consider what Te Marae o Hine means for them.

A silver Scouts badge that says "be prepared"
Clubs and Societies

From Boys Brigade and Girls Guides to the Freemasons, clubs and societies have played a major role in bringing people together. The Clubs and Societies Box looks at some of these groups and explores the importance they have to our heritage.

A 1950s food tin

Possum pie, rations and changing technologies of food production and packaging are some of the core concepts that can be explored with the Food Box. Filled with recipes, packaging and utensils, participants can discover the exciting – or maybe appalling – foods of yesteryear like pickled eggs and more!

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip wave from the back of a tram
Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee

Look back to the Queen’s Jubilee and relive the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Delve into her tour of New Zealand and in particular her visit to Palmerston North.

A hairbrush with mother of pearl inlay
Hair Care

Explore the fascinating history of haircare for both men and woman. Look at old hairstyles and the tools and products used to create them.

A pink dress

Explore the nuptials of days gone by. Dresses, rings, suits, wedding invitations – this box is all about the big day! Questions are posed: what is marriage to you? Do you think marriage still plays a part in today’s society?

A red box for Christmas lights from the mid-20th century

Christmas is a magical time of the year and the Christmas box is a terrific resource exploring the history of New Zealand Christmas celebrations. Drawing on stories and memories of the older generation, participants can explore the meaning of Christmas and how this has changed over time.

A green shoe.

“Going out” might look a little different today than it did in the past, but in both eras dancing was central to having a good time. Find out how people danced back then, see the shoes and clothes they wore, and discover what a big occasion going dancing could be.


Museum in a Box is a fun and engaging opportunity to interact with items from the Te Manawa Collection for all ages and abilities.

To find out more or make a booking e-mail enquiries@temanawa.co.nz